Car Accidents Skyrocket Day After Daylight Savings Time
A new report has showed a dramatic increase of car accidents during the first six days after Daylight Savings Time.A study by Austin C. Smith at the University of Colorado Boulder showed that six days after Daylight Savings Time, there were a total of 302 deaths and a cost of $2.75 billion in damages during a 10 year period.
According to telegram.com, the Fatal Accident Report found a 17% increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the one hour shift. According to researchers, the lost of sleep and going from a 24 hour day to 23, causes a significant disruption in sleep cycles.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has said that people who sleep 6 to 7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash compared to those who sleep 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk 4 to 5 times.
"When the clocks change, whether it is falling back or springing forward, people's sleep cycles are interrupted, and when sleep cycles are interrupted, they tend to be drowsy," said Mary Maguire, director of public and government affairs for AAA of Southern New England.
Most crashes happen between 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Traffic safety experts advise motorists to be cautious when driving while tired, and to pull over and take a nap.
"We've all experienced heavy eyelids and driving while drowsy and we take that for granted. We think if we have a cup of coffee, open a window, have a Red Bull, turn the radio up, that we will be OK," said Maguire.
The best advice for all drivers would be to try and go to bed an hour early this week and be cautious of your sleepiness and of others around you.